Saturday, December 6, 2014

RE: How to Paint Yourself Into A Corner on Race Realism -- A Reflection

This evening, Spawktalk, who goes by the name of Sean Last for The Right Stuff (TRS), wrote a rebuttal to my first post on the topic of race, "Lewontin's Fallacy" and Race. As I explained in the comments on his article, I've opted not to reply for a multitude of reasons, but am still interested in writing a reflection on the discussion we had. First, though, I want to talk about my experiences reading the article first.

Having been familiar with the kind of articles TRS produces, I was honestly a bit nervous. They're typically, even as Sean admitted, quite inflammatory and hostile, especially towards liberals (which, I suppose, is what they might see me as, though I'd disagree). I was surprised to find that the only things that caused my brow to furrow while reading his article were the title (which Michael Enoch admitted was not Sean's doing) and the subtexts under the pictures (which were funnier than they were offensive). It was a pleasant surprise, although it really shouldn't have been. My exchange with Sean was quite friendly, and so I shouldn't have suspected his rebuttal to be much different.

The comments were even more surprising, at least initially. My experiences on TRS have told me that the commenters can and will be very vicious in their responses, and can quickly reject any type of reasoned discussion in exchange for aggression and toxicity. This was by far not the case tonight. The commenters were friendly, gracious, and quite nice to speak to. As one commenter expressed, it was a real breath of fresh air. As I said there as well, there's no reason that people of different views can't have a friendly discussion. While this was initially the case, now the comments seem to have devolved into the typical exchange I'd expect there. It's a shame, but what can you do?

To reflect on the discussion itself, it was quite enjoyable. Sean brought up some interesting points, and there were moments where I had to concede to his arguments, and ultimately I took away some new perspectives; namely how race realists typically define "race." To Sean, race does retain a degree of arbitration, and it is only one of a multiplicity of ways in which someone can examine human genetic variation. I came to realize this isn't entirely inconsistent with my own views; the conclusions we draw, however, regarding the significance of racial categories, or whether or not those categories are objective or biological in nature, is what we ended up having to agree to disagree on.

A lot of the points in the article seemed to be things I've addressed already, either in response to commenters or in sections of my other posts on the topic. Sean and I do fundamentally disagree on one factor which I think is important to bring up. Say, for example, that the social ramifications of racial categories is what has caused group differentials in IQ. To Sean, this is still a validation of race as a human taxonomy. To me, this is evidence of social construction, specifically not of biological validation. I don't see us reconciling this difference in interpretation, but I think it's interesting to note the stark contrast between the conclusions we drew from the same point. It just further shows the complication behind this subject.

Sean also brought up a point about the AAA, AAPA and HGP's definitions of race, and how they are problematic given race realists' definition of race. I absolutely agree, and I emailed the AAA on their article expressing my concerns. I've yet to receive a reply, and so I hope others will ask too, demanding a higher priority on the question. At the same time, Sean and I disagree on our trust in these organizations. I trust the consensus view of anthropologists while Sean is cynical of them. While I believe that these organizations have a much greater advantage in terms of access to scientific literature regarding the subject, Sean believes our access is comparable to theirs. Again, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on these points.

I don't think that Sean fully understands what I mean when I talk about the social or cultural construction of race, and so I'll clarify my views here. When one speaks about the social construction of race, we are drawing attention to its origins, its modern usage, and its social ramifications. One could argue that all things are socially constructed, but this is usually very uninformative. For example, we can talk about the social construction of a hammer; however, hammers were explicitly invented by humans, and so we naturally define what it is and what qualifies as a hammer. We could also talk about the social construction of grass, but this has a pretty universal consensus. Having said all of that, I do not believe that "race" as a general taxonomy is overwhelmingly a social construct. When I say that race is a social construct, I mean that our decision as to what groups of humans qualify as different races is socially constructed; that is, the classification itself is not overwhelmingly a social construct, but what people we choose to put into that classification (for humans, anyway) is. Another way to put it: race is "a culturally constructed label that crudely and imprecisely describes real variation" (Relethford 2009). I love that quote.

If I think of anything else to say about our exchange, I'll just keep adding it onto this post. All in all, I enjoyed the past two months of discussion over this topic, though there were major time gaps between our replies. I think that Sean puts a lot of thought into the responses he makes, and as I stated on his article, I greatly respect his intellect and passion for the subject. He seems to be, to me, an intellectually honest person, and I hope that he dedicates his time and effort to a related field of study later on in his career. While I personally believe racial categorization is problematic and mostly uninformative, there is no reason to stop someone who disagrees from contributing to the academic discussion over this issue. Our disagreement is based on our experiences, and so a shared experience in the future might bring us and like-minded individuals closer to an agreement.

Thank you all very much for reading.


  1. "The commenters were friendly, gracious, and quite nice to speak to. As one commenter expressed, it was a real breath of fresh air."

    Really? I'm reading the comments right now and I can say with ease and confidence that you must've been smoking the devil's lettuce when you wrote that shit. Take this comment for instance:

    "Bitch, if you're too busy sucking diseased dicks for crack money, just say so."

    ^ Gracious, friendly or nice? Hardly. Then again, you could always write in "EXCEPT YOU MAX." Not like it matters. Dudes who flex their dick muscles over the internet to get under your skin when you were way nicer than I would've (or could've) been only have something to prove, either about them or you. I suspect he doesn't like how atypical you are to the "liberals" they regularly encounter. At least some of them were nice to you though. I saw you got a few defenses.

    At least you're sticking to your principles. I'm glad for that, good on you.

    1. The vast majority of them are very kind and intellectually honest. I know that some are less than pleasant, but that shouldn't be considered the norm, at least in this scenario. The only people who are particularly virulent are Max and Simon. We know what Max's problem is now, and we're already familiar with Simon, and so... there's not much left to say.

      But yes, I considered the words of my father before deciding only to write this reflection. It's best this way, and I feel a lot better for it. I'm still having conversations with some of the commenters, though. While I'm still fairly welcomed, I'm going to take the opportunity to learn some new perspectives.

  2. Lex it would honestly behoove you not to comment there any more. I'm looking at the comments there and seeing you getting increasingly agitated and a few of them getting ever more desperate to find something to fault you for. It's not really worth it, especially with Simon and Max as you already pointed out.

    1. Yeah I get that now. Unfortunately there are a few people there who I would like to reply to, but things are just getting out of hand now. I'll edit my post accordingly.

    2. Oh my God the amount of perfidy that Simon is showing there is fucking appalling. He's quoting you as saying things you've outright rejected before. I can't even fathom how he can be just SO dishonest.. How did you ever get him to hate you so much?

    3. Simon has commented on 3 posts: the one on Lewontin's Fallacy, the one on cultural Marxism, and the one on ROK. In all 3 of these scenarios, literally every claim that Simon brought up was rebutted. He tried to display so much "evidence" but in the end either failed to make any compelling case for his arguments, or simply didn't follow the Comment Guidelines, even after being warned numerous times and given an extraordinary amount of leeway. He now hates us for the following reasons:

      1: We moderate, or "censor," comments.
      2: We haven't read most of the links he's posted to us.
      3: We don't agree with him.

      Ultimately, it didn't matter how well we argued or what evidence we brought to the table. Simon won't accept it, because quote:

      "[He's] not reading anything Franz Boas has infected with his poison."


      He then criticizes us for not reading his sources. We read sources when the relevance is explained to us.

      Simon needs to learn how to argue in an academic manner and properly construct an argument in a way that obligates us to address the links he wants us to read. It is not our obligation to read through pages and pages of books he tells us to, just because he says it's relevant. He needs to explain why.

      But he can't. As that thread shows, he doesn't read the things he cites. He doesn't know what's in them. Further proof:

      "Some of the books I recommend to you I have read, or am in the process of reading, and others I am waiting to get for my birthday or for Christmas. There's very little I want other than intellectual stimulation, and I take great care to be sure that my material doesn't come from politically correct sources. Mainstream education, long since overrun, is of course off the cards [...]"


      So not only does he admit to not reading some (probably most) of his sources, he admits that he cherry picks what literature he does choose to read. Anything that's "politically correct" (i.e. anything that doesn't come to the conclusion he wants them to come to) is "off the cards."

      Now that we've shown him to be a fraud and a liar, and of course a hypocrite, he has started a war of sorts. According to him, he's contacted HBD chick, JayMan and Kevin MacDonald to address us. He has also taken to going to any place where either I have commented or someone has commented about me and share his thoughts, as well as (as you pointed out) blatantly lie about my views.

      So, in summation:

      - He has commented here numerous times but has not followed the rules.
      - He has admitted to citing sources he hasn't read, and refuses to read sources that don't agree with him.
      - We therefore blocked him from further discussion, which made him mad.
      - He now hates us and is trying to do whatever he can to get an entire community to go against us.

      But does he actually hate us? Yes he does, and he admits doing so. Unpublished Comment, 12/7/14 @ 5:52 PM; quote:

      "Anyone who's a relativist, deconstructionist freak who wants to rip away all the objective goodness and truth and beauty that makes life worth living will earn my undying hatred. You people shall be the ruin of the our world. Damn you all."

      This has been a brief summary of why Simon hates us. I hope you enjoyed it.

  3. Simon says (lol):

    "Asperger's people are not dishonest. They can misunderstand, but they do not lie about important things."

    Let's get one thing straight here, dickweed. Whether or not you have Aspergers, we don't care - really, we don't give a shit. You flaunt having it as though it's some kind of benefit on your part, which is so fucking strange, given what stigma surrounds people with Aspergers, and what impairments it does cause. Of course, I'm stating this as though the DSM-IV were still in play, but it's not. Now you're literally just saying you're autistic over and over again, which is so unlike someone who actually has autism.

    Regardless, Aspies can lie. Some are pathological liars. Some just lie regularly. Some don't like to lie. But it's not to do with Aspergers whether or not you're a liar. Having Aspergers does not immunize you to dishonesty, no matter how desperately you want to cling to that trait.

    I'm still reading the comments over there, but if you really want me to, I can quote every single instance where you misrepresented her views, intentionally or unintentionally. Not only that, but I can explain exactly how you misrepresented her views by quoting moments where she explained something contrary to how you characterized them. For some, I could say it's intentional because she already explained that she doesn't hold the views you claim she does. The only four possibilities, then, are: (a) you forgot; (b) you didn't read her responses to you; (c) you STILL failed to understand; or, (d) you lied. Something tells me that option (a) is unlikely, and options (b) or (d) are more likely than option (c).

    Really, all you need to do is say "show me the GD carfax" and I'll tell you every moment you failed to accurately represent Lex's views. This is a straight up challenge to you. If you're honestly willing to stand by the statement that because you're an Aspie, you can't lie, therefore you haven't lied, then go ahead. Play your card. I'll shove it up your ass until your eyes turn brown.

    Have fun!

    1. I have Aspergers. I can lie, and have lied before. Many times, I'm sure. Debunked.

      You're right, though, it really is insulting that he is being viciously dishonest, then turns around and says, "I can't be dishonest! I have Aspergers!" He also seems to only be capable of recognizing key words, i.e. if one of us says "you don't understand," he doesn't read any further to see why he doesn't understand. He just reads that clause and goes "see, there, you're doing it again!"

      Thanks for the support and effort, Nick, but this is honestly getting too tiring to address. I thought maybe he was just a troll, but this is far beyond that. It's sickening what he's going through for the sole reason that he got refuted on a blog.

    2. Only it wasn't me that got refuted. The people at TRS, although head and shoulders above me in their ability to comprehend the science of all this, still arrived at the same conclusion I did. They engaged you on the terms you wanted, with all the lingo and all the jargon, but who's side did they come out on? The same side I took.
      What does Sean say at the end? "An honest analysis of the relevant arguments will cause to one to adopt race realism."

      I told you the HBD community was smarter than you thought. In your own words, you didn't expect it. I think that, like fundamental religion, followers of the left believe in these ideologically constructed notions of "equality" because the reality is too unfair, too evil for their fragile sensibilities. But we are all living in hell. There are those who can accept it, and there are those who cannot. And that, I assure you, is the golden truth. Accept our situation as a species, however repulsive that may be.

    3. No, Simon. You're desperately trying to conflate your position with Sean's because you know you're a dumbass and a liar, and so you have to put yourself on the same team as people who might actually be capable of defending their positions. You, on the other hand, have been refuted a thousand times. Please see Lex's historical documentation of how much of a fuckwit you are, and why you're doing the things you're doing. They may have arrived at the same general conclusion as you (believing in race realism), but that doesn't mean you're right. Arriving at a true conclusion from faulty premises does not make you right. These are fundamentals of logic, which seem to elude you.

      "An honest analysis of the relevant arguments will cause to one to adopt race realism."

      Lex may have responded to Sean's rebuttal in much more grace and eloquence than I ever could, but the above quote is poisoning the well. Despite the fact that it came at the end of his arguments, it suggests that even if one were to rebut his arguments, they would be revealing that their analysis of the data and arguments was not honest in nature. One who does not come to the same conclusion as he is dishonest. This is far from the truth.

      Want proof? Let me use your own retarded logic. You say Aspies can't lie? That means Lex can't lie. That means her analysis of the relevant arguments can only be honest, yet she came to a different conclusion than Sean. Still honest, yet different conclusion. Either abandon your retarded premise or abandon your retarded conclusion. I don't give a shit which one, so just do yourself a favor and pick one and, for once, admit you were wrong.

      "In your own words, you didn't expect it." You're a fucking master of cherry picking, aren't you?

      "I think that, like fundamental religion, followers of the left believe in these ideologically constructed notions of "equality" because the reality is too unfair, too evil for their fragile sensibilities." Except she already said, outright, that if the evidence were to suggest that group differences in IQ were largely the result of genetic, she'd accept it.

      But I really, really love your egotistical "I'm a warrior of truth" ramblings. Seriously, I get a laugh at how highly you think of yourself. Never mind all the times you've just been blatantly shown to be wrong, and never mind that you're ready and willing to embrace a logical fallacy if it means convincing yourself that you're on the winning and/or correct side of the debate. You're just a fucking Jeffersonian protege, aren't you?

      I thought I'd let this comment through so I could hopefully set you in your place. You're a big fan of talking about truth, red pills and all that bullshit, so here's another challenge to you. Seriously, and honestly (for once) examine all that has been said and just flat out admit that you were wrong in all the instances you absolutely failed to defend your position. If you can do that, I'll give you a cookie, and maybe a book for Christmas.

      Oh, and as for the "leftist" thing:


    4. Remind me not to give you any reason to slander me.

  4. Simon has, once again, been barred from discussion for violating terms 6 and 9 of the Comment Guidelines; however, I'll address but a few things he said:

    "But even though I, personally, may not have the ability to debate in so narrow an academic fashion, look at all the people I contacted who can, and are more than willing to do so. That is of course the point at which you shut down and say nah, not interested. Very convenient."

    As I've already told you, I've never shown much interest:

    I've been opposed to debating for most of the time this blog has been up, long before I ever heard of you. You're not going to use more trickery to convince people otherwise. It's just not happening.

    "I was actually the one who contacted TRS originally, some months ago, and asked them to engage you."

    I get it, you're very upset, and so you're scanning for every high-profile blogger and writer on the internet who agree with you to get them to challenge me. It's really pathetic.

    "Sean's conclusion is right, and your "everyone is equal despite 50,000 years of separate evolution" line is shown to be what it obviously is: a desperate wish for a fairer world."

    I've not once said that everyone is equal. I've asserted the exact opposite. In fact, I stated so by quoting Relethford 2009 in this very article you're commenting on.

    "My oh my, Alexis has Asperger's! That is quite a revelation, and therefore even more puzzling as to how she's ended up so far left of center. Mentioning something so crucial this late in our debate does however render that declaration suspicious."

    This is actually not a new revelation whatsoever. Please see the last paragraph of:

    "I remember reading that autistics are naturally drawn more to the right since conservative views are by their very nature pessimistic, and life is an extremely negative spectacle, so therefore Aspergians are natural born pessimists, which I have always been."

    There is no link between having ASD and having a certain political view. Intuitively, it would seem the exact opposite -- most policy initiatives which support those who are on the spectrum are supported by liberals. I can tell you don't exactly talk to other individuals who are on the spectrum too often. Look up "aspergers political views" on Google and see what you get. You'll find plenty of discussions with people in the psychology and/or ASD community who do not agree with what you say.

    "Can't be a real Aspergian then if she willingly lies."

    You've never substantiated your claim that people with Aspergers cannot lie. By virtue of your existence, assuming you're actually on the spectrum, you've debunked your own claim.

    "Yeah, I can't use the term "leftist" for all these complex contradictory reasons and interpretations of definitions, yadda yadda yadda."

    No, you can't use that term because, specifically for Nick, it's just not accurate or true.

    "There's a non-equivalence in my ignoring links versus you ignoring links. I ignore your links because it's always to do with the AAA and I'm just not getting into that rat's nest."

    Genetic fallacy.

    And then there goes your whole list of links which you do not explain, probably have not read, and probably aren't all that relevant, as usual. That's what got you banned again Simon. Congratulations.

    But might I just say, before we have to say goodbye, that the absolute thrashing you've just taken on this post is a fitting farewell for a habitual liar such as yourself. Thanks for all the fun times, and kindly fuck off now forever.

    1. The genetic fallacy is applicable when someone solely uses the source from which information came from as their reason for not accepting it. Here, we only accept peer-reviewed sources not because we just like peer-review, but there are displayable reasons as to why non-peer-reviewed sources are flawed in comparison. The difference being that although the AAA may display some bias (if that's the case), the content they produce is not necessarily subjected to that bias. Besides that, the vast majority of sources we cite are not from the AAA. Simon committed a genetic fallacy.

      Also, I told Simon you had Aspergers already on this page. Guess he didn't read it. Again.

      Thanks to Simon's ramblings and complaints, I added another rebuttal to the Comment Guidelines. It's at the bottom.

      Now that all loose ends have been tied, I'm going to say this: if I catch a single comment approved for Simon after this point, I'm going and deleting it regardless of how many replies there were, or who was replying. That includes you, Lex.

  5. Sean Last spoke about you on The Daily Shoah! for about 15 minutes:

    1. I was actually listening to it with Nick when you posted this comment. Kind of ironic since I wouldn't even think to look at any other stuff on TRS, suspecting it's not of interest to me. I don't remember how I came across this video, but hey, I'm glad I did.

      I thought it was funny that they laughed about the fact that I was wary of Sean publishing his response for TRS. I really shouldn't have been worried, at least for the first few hours. As I said in the post above, it went a lot friendlier than I had expected, and the "tough guys" (i.e. the dicks) only came out to play later on, which was long past the point I could have just left.

      One thing that one of the guys there said was that his impression of me was that I was very weird, in his opinion. My comments seemed weird, personal, and like I was trying to frame this as though it were an exchange exclusively between Sean and I instead of a public discourse. To respond, hell yes I'm weird. I'm proud of it. If I can get someone to say "she just seems like a really odd girl," then I've done my job. As for it being an exchange between Sean and I, of course I acknowledge that there's going to be a public element to any exchange I have online; the way they characterized it, though, seems like an accurate representation of how I saw this. I saw it as an opportunity to potentially correct some information in my original post or clarify my points, and I will be doing this in the upcoming days/weeks. By putting up my content online, I intended it to be a resource for other people to use; naturally, I expected follow-up, but public debate was not what I intended this blog to be.

      I feel like I should clarify something. Sean and the others spoke suspiciously about my wariness of Sean publishing a response to me. The reason wasn't exclusively for the fact that it was being published on TRS (since I expressed hesitance even before I knew where it would be published). There were many others. First, I don't like debates. Second, I don't like it when unwanted attention is drawn to me, and so that idea immediately made me nervous. Third, I didn't want race to become a focus of my blog on. Fourth, and last, I didn't want to have to deal with the traffic flow that would follow in suit. Luckily, none of these were issues after the fact, with the exception of Simon declaring war against me (lol). I regret my behaviour prior to Sean publishing the article, because it was very childish to be so opposed to the idea of him publishing a rebuttal.

    2. He spoke briefly about Sam Owl. Sam Owl was a close friend of mine (not my boyfriend, lol) who did videos on YouTube for social justice stuff. He's since abandoned that, but a lot of his time was taken up by dealing with race realists. Ultimately, it got to him, but he didn't exactly have a "mental breakdown." Sam, unbeknownst to us prior to the event, had high anxiety issues that he liked to repress, and was suspected to have GAD. It was decided that, for his health, he should refrain from any more public exchanges, at least where he shows his face. I think the way Sean portrayed Sam in this segment was pretty bad, but again, this is TRS we're talking about.

      They discussed a lot of the arguments that people like to make against the race concept, one of them being that race was invented as justification for racism. I don't entirely think this is the case; as stated, I think there were certain cultural biased which influenced the partitioning of global variation in the human species that led to these groupings. I don't think it was invented as a justification for racism; however, I think it was thereafter used as such.

      I disagree with their argument that the denial of race is just used to immediately shut down any debate over what the causes of group differentials are. I could easily argue, for example, that race doesn't exist; however, on average, blacks have lower IQs than whites -- this is because there are underlying groups of people who have different average intelligence, and traditional racial categories just serve as a proxy for these true differentials. I could argue that, even not believing in the existence of race.

      As for their implications that Jews are responsible for denial of race, well... I'll let you think on that one yourself.

    3. Oh my god I died at the hand-wringing over actually saying "its da JOOZ." I don't know if that was just a joke or if they did that out of respect for Sean or what, but that was so fucking hilarious. It honestly stole away any credibility they had.

      I don't know how you do it Lex. I don't know how you can keep a straight face in all of this and still act like there is something to be learned from this whole experience.

    4. Don't like it that the Jews are a central cog do ya? Now you've had higher calibre people than me tell it too ya, and now you want to write them off! Suck that shit the fuck up, lefties!

    5. Hahahahahaha oh my fucking God I'm sorry, this was too hilarious not to publish. Especially that last sentence: When rage just forces you into sheer coprolalia... sweet mother of Christ, hahahah!

    6. Fear not, 'tis Lord Tourettes, Bard of the Shit Piss Fart Woods.

    7. They said that you claimed your material has been used in educational settings. What was that about?

    8. To my knowledge, two professors (from different universities/colleges) teaching courses on forensic anthropology used my relevant article on the matter in order to help frame the conflict for their students, and to show how in order to identify the race of an individual, they have to understand the construction of the racial categories they're using. More recently my article on RNT was shared by a psychotherapy centre located in the UK. There are a few other examples, but what I was referring to in my email to Sean was specifically regarding my post on forensic anthropology.


    They have almost erased the gap in these tests in the UK now. There is even better data of the gaps closing in different IQ tests too. Only problem is the data is hard to get... a lot(not all) of its from this study.

    Here are links to some forums discussing some UK data, not sure if the age 11 one is from the millenium cohort.

    If I could/know how to upload pictures I could show you the age 11 verbal IQ scores from the millenium study, in which they have substantially to completely erased gaps between Africans and Europeans in UK.

    Sometime soon there should be a proper publication using the right data then you can send them crying home to mommy.

    I am sorry I cant produce good links, the data has not been properly organised by anyone, because few have payed attention to it, but I just wanted to tell you some good meaty evidence is out there against HBD racists.

    Its going to be funny because they are throwing everything they have at an assumption based pretty much mostly off of a stagnation in a gap in the US.

    Good luck anyway.

    1. Thanks for providing the information! While I don't think I could sponsor your pictures on the blog (or here in the comments), if you want to email them to me or Tweet them at me, I'll feature them on my Twitter. That being said, I'm not too interested in confronting the HBD crowd at the moment; however I hope they get word of the data once it's organized into a research report.

      In their defense, however, they base their data off of countries other than the United States. Most of western Europe is included in that, as well as Canada and South Africa (and sometimes Scandinavian countries like Sweden or Norway). The gap isn't a US exclusive phenomenon, although the nature of it can and does vary globally. I just think it's important to bring this up because the phenomenon is visible, and it's interesting to research regardless of what side one is on. I simply don't like arguing about it, at least online -- these things should stay in the hands of qualified researchers, not hobbyists and enthusiasts who may not understand every facet of the issue.

      Thank you for commenting!

    2. Thats why I said mostly. The funny thing about this info is that they already knew about it long time ago, it was one of them(the only one that actually takes the evidence as is) that found this data.

      There is even some more from the Holland cito scores, not as severe as in UK, but still fairly large closures in the gaps.

      Its not a complete killer blow, but I just wanted to let you know their argument is a lot weaker now than before.

  7. In case you hadn't noticed, the discussion continues...

    1. I haven't really been paying much attention since I have numerous other projects I'm working on. I'll just comment on a few things.

      Organizations like the AAA do have superior access to information than we do. They have superior access to unpublished studies (which are not irrelevant in the scientific discourse) as well as grey literature. They also have access to the results of many panels, discussions and meetings that the masses are unfortunately not allowed to participate in. While we do have the same access to the peer-reviewed literature (with the exception of journals/articles you have to pay for), they are clearly at an advantage. Also, much of the research that is commissioned by the AAA can only be accessed by AAA members. I'll ignore the comments on global warming, which are just ridiculous.

      It's also not an appeal to authority to defer to the scientific consensus. This is a common misconception of what the fallacy means. The fallacy means someone who is just an authoritative figure, or to cite one researcher as representing the truth in that entire subject. I discuss this on my article on the global warming consensus (ironically). They're also not in authority strictly because of their superior access to literature. It's because they're quite clearly more qualified than any of us are, and they have access to the opinions of not just people who agree with them (like TRS) but to all researchers who attend their conferences and panels.

      If my publishing a reflection here was "in secret," then this whole discussion was a secret. I was reflecting on my experiences, which I told Sean I was interested in doing in the first email I sent to him. I think he may have left that out when talking to the guys at TRS. Point being, I was interested in hearing what Sean had to say. I had no interest in debating the subject. I never have. If I have to repeat that point one more time...

      If they didn't get what I meant by the difference between the social construction of a category versus how, in this particular case, we have chosen to apply that category, then oh well. I really don't care enough to try to put it in another way, especially when all they're doing now is milking the discussion for as much attention as they can get. The category isn't overwhelmingly a social construct. In this case though, "human races" are a social construct. "Race" is a valid concept. "Human races" aren't. It's really not that hard to understand.

      (Totally irrelevant, but for the record, I loved The Lord of the Rings. I may take a shot at writing about it in the future, maybe after I see the new movie. We'll see.)

      As long as they admit they're not interested in a genuine, intellectually honest discussion, then I'm okay. That's actually what I was interested in: getting Sean's input to correct information in my article. The moment he starts citing broken links and articles from the Journal of Medical Hypotheses? Fucking lol.

      So yeah, thanks for telling me, I guess, but this isn't worth my time anymore. As I said, they're just milking it at this point because I decided not to reply. Not like I expected any less -- in these situations, it's always who gets the last word. If letting them have that is what tickles their reactionary sensitivities and makes them feel good about themselves, then again, I'm okay.

    2. I did warn you, Lex. No matter how dignified and cordial you were, it wouldn't have prevented them from acting this way. There's nothing to gain from a discussion with them. The moment you heard spawktalk was affiliated with them, you should've given no respect.

      If I want to take a moment to just be honest, I think this is where your liberal wishes got the best of you. Thinking that there's an agent to speak to behind every hopeless husk of a pawn in the game of politics, pseudoscience and internet trolling - that's beyond naive. They have no autonomy, no matter how unconventional their views are, they're still locked into the associations they have. It's their own form of "political correctness," as you and I have both stated before. They're as hopelessly driven as the dumbasses on the opposite side of the spectrum are.

      Based on the comments, it looks like they're gonna milk it more. You know it's only going to bring more stupidity to listen to any of it. We've got things to do, and catering to their need for attention or feeding their lust for unabashed, mediocre critique is not on that list. Remember how little this actually meant in the end.

    3. Ahhhh, the "appeal to consensus is appeal to authority fallacy" thing.... Emil Karlsson did a good article on that on "Debunking Denialism":

      Even "yourlogicalfallacyis" notes that it shouldn't be used to disregard scientific consensus:

      But I think they've already heard all of this. What'll be funny is listening to them try to defend their positions against something that is unquestionably the truth. Thanks for sticking it out for a little while longer, Alexis. You have support from a lot of people :-)

  8. Alexis & Nick,

    I know both of you aren't involved in this anymore, and I know you want to move past this, but trust me for a moment when I say you absolutely have to click this:

    Please do it. Please.

    1. "I admit it, I don't know anything about how the world works. I don't like money or economics, I never have and I never will. It's boring as hell and it's the reason so many people don't have lives. It's either the shitty genes you're born with or it's the shitty environment you're born into, and you're just stuck with it. There's zero choice involved. It's an utterly rigged, utterly pointless game."

      Then why does he hate so many people so much? If it's not their choice, how does he hold them accountable?

      We finally see Simon's true colours. He's a soul desperate for attention and gratification due to his cognitive dissonance. It's sad.

    2. Wait... so he's seriously considering becoming their star autist so that they can make fun of him and all autistic people? Oh my god are you serious? That's hilariously pathetic! Like, his life is actually really, really pathetic!

    3. Is it really fair of you to make fun of him? I'm annoyed by him too, but if his life is so sad why are you guys making fun of it? Maybe that's the reason he's so annoying and so persistent. Maybe he just needs a break, or a community to join.

    4. Gee I'm so sorry that I'm going to take the piss out on somebody who has been a pain in our ass for the past several months. I'm sorry I'm gonna fuck with him and laugh at him for his misfortunes due to the fact that he put himself in this situation after emailing like a dozen people to come and attack us, simply because we refuted his comments on the blog. 'My god, I lost an argument on the internet! I must wage war!' It's so fucking unfair to him that I'm being a dick to him after he said he wanted to overwhelm us to the point of us abandoning the blog, and brought upon us so much unneeded stupidity.

      Really? I'm sympathetic for most people's misfortunes, but come on. He literally said he hates us, and that we deserve to go to hell. He also said, as you can see in his feed, that it would be very beneficial for the world to kill off all the Jews. Do I have any sympathies for this guy whatsoever? No. I don't care how pathetic or sad his life is. I don't care if he's autistic. I don't care if he's poor. He's a dick, and he deserves what he does unto others. I'm not such a pussy-souled little bitch that I'm going to shed tears over his misfortunes. No, I'm gonna laugh at him, and damn loud.

  9. Meet Simon:

    I'm pretty sure he has Downs, not Aspergers.


  10. Came across your blog, after looking up something on reddit. In the discussion, it had become consensus that complete acceptance of Edwards was the established position with most geneticists. I found this suspect. I am not a racial realist. I understand that making racial categories is an incomplete way to account for all genetic variation. Does your argument consider all genetic variation within humans equal? Is there a possibility that the genetic diversity within the traits used for racial categories are more significant from an evolutionary stand point considering they are directly related to adaption?

    1. Felix,

      You're correct in that most geneticists agree with Edwards's position, not Lewontin's, because indeed Lewontin's conclusion was arrived at fallaciously (i.e. his premise did not warrant his conclusion). Nevertheless there are even flaws with using correlational structure to determine racial categories, as discussed in depth in the following post, as well as in the comments:

      Do I consider all genetic variation within humans equal? No. If you look at a sample of thousands of genetic markers and look at their variation between populations, you see that there are only a few which have been largely a result of adaptation -- those are what we traditionally consider to be the markers that delineate the races, at least roughly. That being said, there are a few problems with using this method to differentiate between populations, and I point these out by asking the following questions:

      1: Do classifications based on these few markers offer a good representation of human genetic variation at large?

      2: Do these classifications accurately represent the evolutionary history for these markers, or do they just happen to overlap?

      3: Do these classifications persist regardless of what type of genetic variation you're looking at?

      The answers are "No" to all, for the most part. While the distribution around the mean is wide, racial classification only tells us about a small subset of human genetic variation, even if those are ones that are a result of adaptation. There are others that are a result of adaptation as well that do not easily fit into these categories. Likewise, these same traits that are used to delineate the races may actually be better explained by a different type of classification. Lastly, depending on what you're looking at (SNPs, CNVs, etc.), these clusters that were once thought to be objectively defined can become muddled. I would give my other article a read, since the most information was provided there, not here.

      Thank you for commenting.


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